On Monday Abbie’s therapists totally changed the way she drives her chair. Her seat has gotten torqued (long story), which forces her to turn to the left a bit. This positioning makes it almost impossible for her to activate the sensor behind her head, which was her “forward, march!” button.
We are hoping to get the chair fixed in July, but until then, wanted to make driving easier for her. So, we let her choose which side of her head she would like to use for driving. I was assuming she’d choose left, because her head is turning left anyway right now.
She quickly chose the right side — I think it’s so she can prove how strong she is. She did well with it in therapy on Monday. Today is a bright, sunny (and windy) day in Honolulu, so Alicia and I took her to the basketball courts just down the street from our house.
We had to walk the long way around the park to get to the courts. As we were just getting past the rec center, I saw Ladder 5 parked at the curb. Tomorrow will mark eight years since that truck and its crew arrived at our house to help save Abbie.
“Oh, Abbie — Look! It’s your friends from Ladder 5!”
Just then, the crew began walking past us toward picnic tables. One of them turned around and said,
“Is that….Is her name….”
I answered with, “Were you….”
We both understood without finishing the sentences. When Captain Mamiya asked how long it had been, and I answered “eight years tomorrow”, a momentary silence fell.
“I’ve always wondered how things turned out, how she is. I saw her once at Macy’s and had to ask the woman with her if it was Abbie, because I knew it just had to be, ” he finally said.
“Well,” I responded, “she is so smart, she loves school, she is happy and she is such a huge blessing to our family. We are so grateful to have her…..so, thank you — thank you for giving us a second chance.”
We chatted for a while longer, and then parted — but not before I could get a photo:
We are profoundly grateful, every day, for the team that brought Abbie back to us. I am especially thankful that today, of all days, I got to hug one of them, and tell him so.
After that incredible encounter, we made our way to the courts to test out the new driving arrangement. Follow the link to see the immediate results:
She went on and on after that. And, yes, we were giggling and carrying on just as much the whole time. She truly is amazing.
As I told Captain Mamiya – sometimes this time of year, these particular days are hard for us. But, so many good and exciting things are happening for Abbie that this year it is much easier to celebrate her re-birth – rejoicing over the fact that she came back and is bringing laughter to us still.
God is good — and so is life!